The mustard is a well-known oil seed. It is a small annual plant which grows upto a height of one metre with some branches. It has round stem with long intermodes, simple, alternative and very soft yellowish green leaves. The fruit is a pod of about 2.5cms long containing seeds.
Dry mustard seeds are small, measuring about 1 mm in diameter. They are round and darkish-brown or greyish-brown in colour. They have no smell, but when pounded and moistured with water, they emit a peculiar pungent odour. The taste of the mustard seeds is bitter and pungent.
The mustard seeds are used as condiment throughout India. The seeds yield 28 percent of a fixed oil which is used in medicine and soap-making, the seeds also contain about one percent of a volatile oil which is used as a counter-irritant when greatly diluted. The oil extracted from the seeds is used in North India as a hair oil, for frying and other cooking purposes. It is also used in pickles and salads. In Punjab, Delhi and Western Uttar Pradesh, the leaves are used as a vegetable.
NATURAL BENEFITS AND CURATIVE PROPERTIES
Mustard seeds as well as its oil is used in many prescription for the treatment of various ailments. White mustard seeds are roasted in a litre of sesame or coconut oil. The oil is then strained and cooled. It is applied with little water over face before going to bed, it will cure pimples and whiten the complexion.
Mustard oil boiled with henna leaves is useful in healthy growth of hair. About 25 grams of mustard oil should be boiled in a tinned basin. A little quantity of henna leaves should be gradually put in this oil till about 60 grams of these leaves are thus burnt in the oil. The oil should then be filtered through a cloth and stored well in a bottle. Regular massage of the head with this oil will produce abundant hair.
Mustard seeds have emetic properties which cause vomiting. A teaspoonful of seeds, mixed in a glassful of water, generally produces free vomiting in five to 10 minutes. This is especially useful in drunkenness, narcotic and other poisonings.
Mustard is a rubefacient which causes reddening and warming of the skin. Its plaster or paste made with water, is applied as analgesic in rheumatism, sciatica, paralysis of limbs and other muscular pains. The plaster should however, never be directly applied to the skin as it may cause painful blistering. A layer of lint material should be put between the mustard paste and the skin.
CONVULSION IN CHILDREN
A teaspoonful of powdered mustard seeds missed in a gallon of warm water is used as therapeutic bath in convulsion of children caused by high fever.
Mustard paste as an external application is highly beneficial in the treatment of ringworm. This paste should be applied after washing the skin with sufficiently hot water.
(CULLED FROM FOODS THAT HEAL BY H. K. BAKHRU)
Editor’s Note: Mustard seeds grounded and mixed with olive oil or honey have been found to cure Asthma. Take note!
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